THOUSANDS of pounds have been raised to cover legal fees for the family of a woman who has gone missing with her three-year-old son.

Ellie Yarrow-Sanders, 26, disappeared with Olly Sheridan in July last year during a court hearing with Olly’s father, Patrick Sheridan, 45.

A judge raised the alarm in December and urged anyone with information to come forward.

Mr Justice Williams, who oversaw a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London, said he was gravely concerned and lifted the identity bar in the hope that publicity will help find Olly and Miss Yarrow-Sanders, as family hearings are normally staged in private.

Thurrock Gazette:

Missing with mum - Olly Sheridan 

However, in a letter to her family, which have been shared on social media by her sister Maddie Yarrow, Miss Yarrow-Sanders said running away was “the only way” she could protect her son and is acting in his best interests.

The family believe Miss Yarrow-Sanders’ side of the story is not being heard.

A fundraising page has been set up in support of Maddie Yarrow and Ellie’s mother Donna Yarrow, who are reportedly facing prosecution as the High Court believes they could be withholding information.

Thurrock Gazette:

Missing - Ellie Yarrow-Sanders vanished with son Olly in July

The page was created on December 21 and has so far raised more than £3,500 of the £6,000 goal.

It was started by Danny Boyling, Maddie Yarrow’s boyfriend.

He wrote: “Any money raised that goes over the amount required, will be donated to a Woman’s charity and various other charities that help all woman abused and let down by the family courts.

“The monies raised will be paid for solicitor costs and fees that occur. The funds will be either directly paid to the solicitor or to a bank account to then be transferred across accordingly.”

A petition has also been set up by friends of the family calling on the High Court to allow Miss Yarrow-Sanders’ side of the case be told. It has been signed by more than 23,000 people.

Patrick Sheridan issued an updated appeal asking her to come home, saying Christmas has been “unbearable”.

He said: “I hope that Ellie sees sense and comes forward so that this can be sorted out and Olly can have a normal childhood, not living on the run.

“My boy needs both of his parents in his life and not to live a life undercover, hidden away from his family and the rest of the world.”

“Please, if any members of the public who might have seen Olly or have any information, call the police.”